Juventus are by far the most successful club in Italian soccer history, boasting 35 topflight titles during their proud 122-year history. Famously known as “The Old Lady” to fans and followers, they’re also reigning champions of Serie A for the last eight consecutive seasons. This obviously begs the question: Can anyone stop the team in black and white landing its ninth title in a row?
Well, given that it’s dominated the soccer scene in Italy so consistently for almost a decade, it’s hardly surprising that almost at the midway point of the 2019-20 season and sitting proudly at the top of the table, once again, Juventus is the outright Serie A betting favorite for the title at odds of -250.
Nevertheless, the team coached by Maurizio Sarri hasn’t had things all its own way, particularly in December, when it hit a couple of bumps in the road. At the start of the month, the bianconeri (“black and whites”) dropped points at home for the first time this season, falling behind to mid-table Sassoulo until Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue, scoring from the penalty spot to salvage a 2-2 draw.
The following weekend, Juventus suffered its first loss of the season away at Lazio. Despite having taken the lead with Ronaldo scoring the opener, Luiz Felipe pegged the game at 1-1 just shy of the interval. Juan Cuadrado was red carded for Juve in the second half and everything went wrong from there, as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic put the home side ahead and Felipe Caicedo added a third in stoppage time for Lazio.
While it’s still too early in the season to place on a pedestal as a title decider, Lazio winning the three points was a serious statement of intent on its part, keeping the team within touching distance of Juventus at the top of the table. Despite a sluggish start to the campaign and being rated as 16/1 outsiders, the biancocelesti (“white and sky blues”) head into the New Year as genuine contenders.
Indeed, Lazio boast an unbeaten run in Serie A that extends back to the end of September, which includes eight consecutive wins to see out their 2019 fixture schedule. An iconic former striker with the club, as manager, Simone Inzaghi has steadily improved the fortunes of Lazio since his appointment in 2016, leading his team to success in the 2017 Supercoppa and 2019 Coppa Italia.
BLOG: #Lazio – pretenders to contenders?@KarstenKrogh14 takes a deep dive into whether the penny finally has dropped for Simone Inzaghi’s side…https://t.co/DNMIR7OrDe pic.twitter.com/trD6ykiRI2
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) December 17, 2019
The other side eager to dethrone Juventus from the Serie A summit is Inter Milan. The nerazzurri (“black and blues”) were the dominant side in Italian soccer a decade ago, yet they haven’t finished in the top three for eight seasons. That said, now that former Juventus, Chelsea and Italy manager Antonio Conte is at the helm, Juventus harbors serious ambitions for silverware once more.
Inter Milan has suffered just one league defeat this season, losing a hard-fought battle at home against – you’ve guessed it – Juventus. While that might have been a crushing blow to morale for some teams, it doesn’t seem to have affected Inter too much. Inter Milan has kept pace at the top of Serie A and actually have a better goal-difference record compared to their rivals from Turin, which could be vital if the championship race goes down to the wire.
After the thumping 4-0 win that Inter Milan secured against Genoa in the final fixture of 2019, they head into 2020 level on points with Juventus at the top of Serie A, looking the most likely side to push the reigning champions all the way for the title. If both Inter Milan and Lazio can maintain their form, Juventus could well be set for a real battle to land its ninth straight title.
Join the discussion on this topic with Prosperity Pac by visiting our contact page.
Leave a Reply